DreadBall Design Notes – Armour


Well I was going to talk about dice tonight, but I think I’ll do that tomorrow because I just remembered that I’d not really mentioned armour. I want to quickly describe this now as it works the same way as the 3 alliterative stats, and you need to know that when we talk about dice mechanics.

Armour is a role-defined value, so every Striker has the same protection, every Jack has the same, etc. Armour is defined like Speed or Strength as X+.

Striker armour should obviously be the lightest as they need to be agile, and it is indeed the weakest at 5+. Guard and Jack armours are both 4+, which may seem odd at first because Guards should clearly have heavier kit, right? Well, fret not. Guards get an extra dice whenever they roll an armour check, so they are likely to resist more damage even though the value they are rolling against is identical. Cunning, eh?

All this makes is extremely easy to remember what the value is you’re rolling against, which in turn makes the whole thing roll along very briskly.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about dice mechanics and it should become rather clearer how all these simple rules overlay to produce something more subtle and interesting.

This entry was posted in DreadBall - The Futuristic Sports Game, Game Design Theory. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to DreadBall Design Notes – Armour

  1. Lee says:

    Looking forward to it, love these behind the scenes viewpoints. Keep ’em coming!

  2. James says:

    The more I see about this game the more I want it. I’m a lapsed mini gamer and never really have time to paint/play but this game looks like a lot of fun and the relatively small number of models and play time combined with what appears to be a both interesting and fairly simple ruleset is very appealing. Just got to hope I get a year and end bonus then I can get sign off from the missus.

  3. I think you are leaving out a critical clue from the design process… let me elaborate, this is not criticism, I just wanna pick your brain a little bit.

    Regarding the armour saves I’m wondering about the decision to give the Guard and Jack the same armour value but different amount of dice rolled. This extra dice, does it represent something else than just the armour? I.e. are we meant to think they have the same armour but the Guard is just tougher, or better at recieving tackles (perhaps rolling with the force)?

    As I see it you can vary the chance of succes by two methods, essentially. The first is by modifiers (+1 or -1 to the roll) or vary the target numbers (4+, 5+ etc), both are just two ways of expressing the same method. The second method is by adding or subtracting whole dice. More dice have a better chance at beating a target number. In my mind mixing the two methods are often confusing since it’s hard (for the players) to accurately judge the chance of success. Unless the two methods represent two different qualities you wish represented. Say the target number is the thickness of the armour, and the amount of dice is the skill or toughness of the player wearing the armour. Or vice versa.

    So I’m just curious, why add a dice? It would have been easier to remember 5+, 4+ and 3+ instead of 5+, 4+ and 4+ but with one more dice I think. So I’m thinking you had a special reason for this. Are you counting the number of successes perhaps?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Well spotted, I’m impressed. I am indeed counting successes. By sticking to 4+ and giving them an extra dice I am, in effect, giving them an extra half a success. Well, actually slightly more when you know the rest of the rules….

      I’m writing the dice mechanic up at the moment and will post it tomorrow morning. Hopefully it will be clearer then – if not, please nudge me again 🙂

  4. Pingback: DreadBall Design Notes – Dice |

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